The SBDC was recognized on September 9 at a “Mix & Mingle” event hosted by Smart Beginnings at WHRO Public Media (Norfolk). The SBDC was honored by Smart Beginnings for their partnership, and for the impact that they have made to early education in South Hampton Roads. To date, 52 centers have participated in the SBDC Early Education Business Program, and those that have graduated from the program have increased their revenues by an average of 23% and enrollment by 29%.
Since 2009, through innovative partnerships with the cities of Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Chesapeake, and Norfolk and a grant from Smart Beginnings South Hampton Roads, the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads (SBDC) created a business development program targeted to early education childcare centers as sustainable small businesses. The year-long SBDC Early Education Business Mentoring complements quality initiatives in early education through the systematic implementation of strong best business practices in our early education businesses. The program provides business owners a combination of industry specific small business management training, as well as intensive one-on-one mentoring. By helping the businesses to operate more efficiently, owners and directors are able to devote more time to improving the quality of instruction to children in their care. The program aims to improve financial stability of the centers, increase marketing capability, reduce employee turnover and implement best business practices.